Despite the team’s impressive second-place standing in the Eastern Conference, Griffin’s tenure came to an unexpected end.
The decision was confirmed by Bucks general manager Jon Horst, who acknowledged the difficulty of parting ways with Griffin mid-season. Horst said, “This was a tough decision, but we’re already working towards hiring our next head coach. We appreciate Coach Griffin’s hard work and contributions to the team.”
Griffin, 49, took over the coaching reins in June following the abrupt departure of Mike Budenholzer, who was let go after the Bucks’ early playoff exit last season. Horst praised Griffin’s appointment, citing his “championship-level coaching pedigree, character, basketball acumen, and ability to connect with players.”
Despite a solid start to the season, boasting a 30-13 record and the league’s second-best winning percentage, Griffin’s dismissal came as a surprise to many.
His last game in charge was a 122-113 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
To fill the void left by Griffin, assistant coach Joe Prunty will assume the interim head coach position until a permanent successor is found. Rumors circulating in US media suggest the Bucks are eyeing former Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers as Griffin’s potential long-term replacement.
The abrupt coaching change has left fans and the basketball community speculating on the impact it might have on the Bucks’ performance in the ongoing NBA season.